Summary of organization/program
On the request of a teacher or school, we provide story workshops to classes that fit both the needs of the kids and the needs of the teacher. We have workshops that last for a couple of hours, ones that last for a few half days and ones that allow us to dig deep over a few weeks. Our workshops cover the process of storytelling, writing, setting up storyboards, and story production through different mediums (digital, visual, sculptural, dramatic, animation and puppetry).
- Children grades 1-6
- Established: 2009
- LIZ HAINES, alien chieftess. Liz’s extensive background in children’s entertainment began at TVOntario as a creator, producer and director for TVO Kids. Since then Liz has produced award winning series, most recently The Ocean Room which won a Gemini award for Best Preschool Series in November of 2010. Liz feels passionately about encouraging kids to tell their own stories, in writing and in film and started Story Planet in 2009. She believes reading and writing is challenging and a lot of work for many kids and so is invested in opening doors to literacy through mentorship and workshops that inspire and excite!
Dominant Media Forms
- Encourage kids to tell their own stories, in writing and in film in Canada 48% of all adults over the age of 16 have low prose literacy skills, meaning that they have difficulty reading, understanding and functioning effectively with written material, according to the OECD’s International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS). We’d like to help change that.
Statement of Principles
- On the request of a teacher or school, we provide story workshops to classes that fit both the needs of the kids and the needs of the teacher. We have workshops that last for a couple of hours, ones that last for a few half days and ones that allow us to dig deep over a few weeks.
The Story Planet workshops are entertaining, inventive and have a game-like aspect to them. There are three kinds, two story building and a production workshop:
- Alpha (basic, for grades 1 to 3)) – here, the whole class has a blast creating a story all together. A fabulous artist illustrates the story under the strict guidance of the kids. The story is collectively told to the crisis and then the children write their own ending.
- Beta (focused for grades 3 to 6) invites kids to tell Individual Stories. Following an easy-to-understand structure, the kids go through levels as they create characters and then write and illustrate their own stories. Working closely with the schools and teachers, we can shape the workshops to address specific needs or areas of study.
- Zeta (mult-media for grade 1 to 6) is the production workshop and kids work with artists in different mediums (digital, visual, sculptural, dramatic, animation and puppetry) to produce a visual component that either kicks off a story, or supports one. This production workshop is longer than the story workshops and allows us to dig a little deeper into the creative process.
While we make the process as rewarding as possible, we also understand the need for the ‘wow, look at what I did!”, a tangible, finished result that is the kids can share and be proud of. Each child, therefore, receives a bound book of their story complete with a back cover where they can add a photo or picture of themselves and a short blurb. And, for theZeta, the kids showcase whatever they’ve produce to the school and to the outside community through a Planet Performance or Planet Gallery.
The workshops are inclusive, there’s no cost to the child (and only a donation requested from the school), and the process is designed to support and encourage all learners to create stories in their own ways. The workshop’s provide kids with a framework that makes storytelling very engaging and do-able, building self confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Children can tell stories about themselves, about their families, or purely imagined stories.
These three-day workshops are designed to get kids comfortable and excited about using digital tools to tell a story. We explore photography, film and animation. Kids use their own stories, either written during the Story Workshop, or done collectively at the beginning of the Production Workshop as the material for their productions.
Classes are broken into smaller groups to allow for maximum participation and involvement in the process. The kids also get to interact directly with artists [animators, actors, directors, and musicians] who share their craft and expertise. As kids begin to understand what it takes to crete film or animation, they become more literate in the viewing of all media.
Story Planet Workshops are designed to support curriculum needs in language and literacy. We work closely with teachers making sure we understand both children and classroom requirements.
Samples of work